Fall 2011 Shamatha Retreat

89 A wellspring of good advice



This last Monday afternoon’s session, which we can say that is indispensable to listen to, Alan offered a huge number of pieces of advice that are extremely useful for those that are going to do a long retreat, for those that are going to meet their daily activities and for all of us that want to keep practicing Dharma the rest of our lives: how can we deal and respond to the eroding of our Shamatha practice and the striking back of our OCDD? What is a balanced Dharma practice and the role of Shamatha within it? With the aspiration of undertaking a long retreat: how to avoid a waiting attitude and neglecting the practice in the present day? How to avoid being like the cat that is either flapping in the surface of a pond or sinking to its bottom, but rather become like the happy elephant in a long term retreat? Also, how to avoid expectations but keeping joy and gratitude during it? What to do when we have days during which we cannot even count until three? And most important: how is our Dharma practice affec